via farm3.static.flickr.com (original image link)
|Score (out of 4)
Thanks to the 34 submitters!
C98, Oaktown123, VandyImport, Dingosean, GoldenBear 77, TKE Prytanis 79, Thoroughbred, GBB4188, omnizzle, Jr. Bear, Yleexotee, GBMarin, California Pete, Yorzepol, rurata, Swamphunter, Trisweb, iVinshe, CALumbus Bear, mig, CaliforniaCMB, Kodiak, beson, sec119, Ohio Bear, Haas8388, Berkelium97, BTown85, ososdeoro, primo, coolingfan, stochastic, SoCal Oski, katster
And big ups to Twist for getting the best comments together; it made this post way easier to complete.
Let's start with the best gameday experience of our graders, which goes to...dingosean, with an epic drunken tale (and totally unedited).
Woke up. Trew on my Cal football 2006 shirt (good luck shirt) and started driking lottss of beer.
Watched the texas-oklahomer game while drinking A LOT.
By the tme the cal game started i was visibly inebriated, and i decided to stp drinking when the game started, and only start drinking if Cal started messing up. (it wrked against oregon last year, so why not bring back this strateggy).
Game started well. We were ahead by ten. Even though UCLA came back and DID scor a TD in the 1st.. we had the lead going into Q2. Where we came out and scored 3 TD's. Going into the haftime with a 3 score lead... and having sobered up a little, i decided to start drinking more beer.
2nd half went by... we kept the lead.. i was continuing go drink more.. and thena i stardted blogging. We gota the eainerception and woo hoo! we won. Now i'm very drunk agan and itsawesome! WE BEAT LA IN LA
Lesson kids: If you post a drunk report card, you're likely to win best gameday experience. CGB, where we encourage drinking at all ages.
Gameday experiences, commenting awards, and best of the report cards after the jump.
I actually couldn't watch live today, so I insulated myself from any scores the entire day, so that I could watch the reply on espn360. I did so well.....and right before I begin watching, I see in my inbox:
from CalBearsShop.com <firstname.lastname@example.org>
date Sat, Oct 17, 2009 at 4:12 PM
subject Free Ground Shipping to Celebrate Cal's Win at CalBearsShop.com
I kept shoveling chips in my mouth the entire 4th quarter to keep Cal's defense going. Unfortunately it turns out they all contained olestra. It's been good knowing you. Tell my wife I love her and bury me in Nashville.
C98: Good to see my Bears winning again. Good to break the LA loos streak.
Oaktown123: My cable stopped working in the second quarter which was frustrating, but then it started working again.
TKE Prytanis 79: Great...watching at home...talking to the kids by phone after major plays and my wife made killer red enchilladas with red Hatch chiles...and we won...gonna sleep well tonight
GBB4188: As my game of torn allegiances this game is always a little awkward as I like both teams to perform well (and Cal to win). That's what we got so I'm very happy and can be excited about both teams going forward.
Jr. Bear: Amazing. Cal section was good, team was good. I'm content.
Yorzepol: Hot day at the Rose Bowl. I lost my voice before the game and missed the band's pregame. Then we scored on out first possesion and all was right with the world.
Swamphunter: I've had an upper respiratory tract infection since Tuesday, and I probably won't be healthy until this upcoming Tuesday. However, the game and the win were probably what made me clear the hump of this illness.
CALumbus Bear: I was so F-ing, F-ING happy after that game. Or maybe it was relief. Maybe I was exalting in relief. Or reveling in pent-up frustration release. Either way I felt good, and Mrs. CALumbus Bear and I popped open a $50 bottle of wine we had aged for 4 years, and I swear it had the yummy taste of vanquished Bruin.
mig: After being mocked and ridiculed for three weeks, it was nice to chant in the Rose Bowl "this is Bear Territory!" Pasadena, and the rest of Los Angeles, by extension, also became part of Bear Territory. I flew out from Boston on Thursday and was able to meet up with friends I haven't seen for nearly a year. Needless to say, coming into the game I was worried that it might put a damper on my otherwise relaxing, peaceful and enjoyable weekend. But yesterday's game only made it better!
Kodiak: Because her team (yeah, I married a bruin) lost, my wife had to go out and bring back tribute. I enjoyed beer and a fried chicken dinner. Ha ha!
beson: Great game. We were so pumped to be at the game and finally breaking the socal losing streak. Loved the cheers at the end of the game. I'm sure some of the people will wake up with sore hands this morning due to all my emphatic high fives.
However, I wish I hadn't forgotten to record the game on my DVR. I always have a hard time giving grades when I go to the games.
Ohio Bear: First, we won the game. Then, tried to use Panera Bread gift card for post game celebratory meal. The gift card reader was broken, so the friendly cashier gave us our meal for free. Score! Finally, stanfurd blew a 9-point 4th quarter lead to lose. It was a win, win, win gameday for me.
Berkelium97: This was a great game to attend in person. By the end, it was clear that this was more than a win against a team who was winless in the conference. This was about getting Cal back on the right track after USC and Oregon and finally getting a win after several years of heartbreaking losses at the Rose Bowl. From Tedford's ice bath to the way the players excitedly came over to dance and sing with the Cal band when the clock hit 0:00, it was clear this was a special win for the fans, the players, and Tedford. Thank you to all the other Cal fans who withstood nearly four hours of the 100 degree heat and gave our team a long-lasting standing ovation when the game finished.
ososdeoro: Almost upset a seeded team in tennis doubles, then got in the car and turned the game on. Starkey called the score three times before providing enough information for me to tell who was actually winning. Saw the second half doldrums while REALLY wanting to go back to the beginning and see those 35 points, but had to wait until the game was in the bag.
coolingfan: Best: Watching the Bruins exodus with 5 minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Worst: The heat in Pasadena. I got my right chick and the right side of my neck burned even with sunblocks on, and I bet this is the case for many people who sit in Cal section...
Most memorable: The whole experience of being with loyal Cal fans, all of whom stayed after the game to celebrate the win! Go Bears!
stochastic: Cal cheers with the thousands of Cal fans in the north end zone of the Rose Bowl.
Gimme a C! (Author's note: C!)
Gimme an A! (Author's note: A!)
Gimme an L! (Author's note: L!)
What's that spell? (Author's note: CAL!)
Who are we? (Author's note: CAL!)
Who kicked the shit out of the bruins? (Author's note: CAL!)
IMG_4059 (via Monica's Dad)
SoCal Oski: It was, perhaps, the single most perfect October day I've ever had in my entire life in LA - and I was born and raised there. Ideal weather (at least in Santa Monica); a riotous good time before, during, and after the game; and the joy of thumping Ucla and seeing the Rose Bowl empty as their sniveling fans left early to sulk and pout. The cherry on top is how there is starting to be dissent in the ranks among Ucla fans over whether CRN is actually the messiah, or just another false prophet.
katster: CURSE YOU MACK BROWN.
(Yeah, I was one of those people affected by the Texas-Oklahoma game gone long.)
Other that that, hung out over on Ken and Jason's site while cleaning my room and watching the game. A winning game really helped in that task, let me tell you...
|Total Standard Deviation
Golden Bear 77 takes the cake this week. Here is his full report card, concise and full of modest rationality.
QB (B+): Riley still makes me nervous, but I love that he was leading Best's long touchdown run. Nice escapes on some of the pass rushes.
RB (A-): Vereen was amazing, and Best was more valuable than the statistics show. He forced UCLA to use a different defense when he was in -- that is the definition of a presence.
WR (B): Still, a few drops. The Jones touchdown was one for the ages.
Run blocking (B-): I don't care what defense they use, the blocking for Best has to improve.
Pass protection (B): Some breakdowns, but Riley helped them out.
Run defense (B-): What happened on the long run? But, CAL did force them into a passing game.
Pass rush (B-): Need more pressure.
Pass defense (B): Not so good early, but improved as the game progressed. What happened to SydGod? (Author's note: He should be fine.)
Special Teams (C): Too may yards on kick returns. Punting was the best of the season. We have our Groza kicker back!
Coaching (A-): We won in LA!
The Old Blue Award (Most Pessimistic Voters)
|Average score (out of 4)
GBMarin had plenty of criticisms for a 22 point victory, but as you can see from above there was plenty of things to nitpick at. Here are the most biting things.
Receivers (Incomplete): Did a receiver except Jones even catch one?
Run blocking (D): Price came through like the Colorado River
Pass rush (D-): Only rushed 3 most of the time for heck sakes.
Coaching (B-): No Killer instinct in Berkeley. Hey maybe that is why. (Author's note: didn't understand this comment, can you clarify?)
I'm guessing 72-6 is going to linger throughout this season for some fans. It is hard to shake even now two weeks removed...
Golden Sunglasses Award (GO! BEARS! GO! BEARS!)
|Average score (out of 4)
Trisweb, by contrast, was downright beaming. His gameday experience is just too funny to not share (he was at a joint Boston viewing for Bruins and Bears alike).
Getting my car spit on in Boston, I can only assume because of the script-Cal decal. Those silly baby bears and their harmless pranks...
Coaching (A): Sappy - but I was impressed by Tedford's interaction with the players. He seemed somehow less cold, even drenched in ice cold gatorade.
Overall (A-): I was impressed and happy with the outcome obviously; I think our team played well, but I think maybe there was a small lack of challenge.
Special teams (A+): 69 yard punt? Pick six? Hell yeah. (Author's note: Defense is special teams now?)
Running backs (A): I think our backs have a lot of potential when the O-line blocks for them, and I was very impressed with Vereen's out-yarding Best this game, as well as Best's big plays. That's great versatility and will keep them guessing - who's the lead and who's the backup?
CaliforniaCMB had similar optimism.
Overall: Offense played well, threw the ball and ran the ball well (Vereen) and the defense did great (they turned into Field Goal U at the end) and the pick 6 sealed the deal.
Gameday experiences: Great! 9 AM drinking, BBQ, leading some nice Go! Bears! chants, and getting the middle finger from a fUCLA fan, can't beat that! oh and it was HOT!
Now onto the best of the report card. If there's anything you think I missed from your cards that was noteworthy, let me know in the comments. Thanks!
Oaktown123: Riley outperformed Colt McCoy. During the second half he had rough spots.
dingosean: Riley played well, and definitely made some good throws. Moved well in the pocket, and he didnt allow anything bad to happen the other way (I.E. no ints). He was 14-23, and 3 touchdowns for 300+ yards. Cant ask for better than that. Sure, he could have thrown a few ints on some bad throws, hence the A-. But he didnt do anything of the sort so its all good.
Jr. Bear: BEST 4 HEISMAN? MAYBE.
RILEY 13 HEISMAN!!
I creamed my pants seeing that 60% completion in the box score.
The best throw of the game? The quick out to Boateng before the half. That is the moment I regained trust in Riley.
California Pete: Big improvement. Made a number of big throws, and while he struggled to keep the sticks moving with his arm, he did pick up some nice first downs with his legs. Avoided the interception (again!), and navigated the pocket well. Above all else, he looked poised and confident.
Kodiak: Whatever the heck Ludwig and Tedford did to Riley during the bye week, whether it was drugs, Robot-Chicken-style brainwashing, or just an old-fashioned cattleprod up the *ss, keep doing it.
He was poised, pretty accurate, made good decisions...there was even a sequence in the 2nd half where he completed two straight slant passes.
I still have my reservations about how he'll handle adversity, but this was definitely a step in the right direction.
SoCal Oski: I get it now - Riley intentionally played like crap in the last two games so he'd look even better in this one!
Riley definitely looked better and more comfortable in the pocket. The 1st TD to Jones and the throw to Best were both perfect. I guess that's what happens when the OL gives him some protection. But that could speak more to a very over-hyped Ucla defense than a very improved Cal OL. Still, some passes sailed a bit.
VandyImport: Mixed bag. A for Vereen, who was everything you could ask, and a B for Best, who was ill-served by some of the play calling - but you can't have that many TFLs on run plays and expect to do anything.
California Pete: Vereen was an "A", and I also some some good things from the fullbacks, including Will Kapp on special teams. Best had two highlight-reel touchdowns, but he otherwise was shut down. It's tough to run when the D-line keeps getting that much penetration, but I'd still like to see Best turn more of those losses into at least modest gains.
Swamphunter: Let me quote myself from the in-game discussions:
Jahvid is God
Vereen is Jesus.
Both had over 100 yards, with Vereen having 153 and Best with 103. Best had one of the prettiest 93 yard runs you'll ever see in a Cal football game.
sec119: Running - Thunder and lightning = NATURAL DISASTER.
primo: JAvid did his Thang one time, but kept getting 1st Down off tackle minus-yard plays called, like 9 in a row!!! C'mon, Ludwig! Pass to him on a screen, or short passes to anyone!! And, don't open the play series with the same non-productive play 9x!!!
stochastic: Best had a signature SportsCenter run, but it was Vereen's consistent jabs that really impressed. I'm not convinced that Jahvid can carry the team like some people think he can, but the future is brighter than I thought.
(via Monica's Dad)
VandyImport: Marvin Jones really earned his scholarship today, which is critical - somebody is going to have to step up as a go-to target for Riley if teams are going to dare Cal to throw.
yorzepol: Although they dropped a couple of passes that they should have caught, these guys really stepped up their game! They bailed out Riley several times and made some pretty difficult plays. Much improved with room for still more improvement.
stochastic: It's tough to say what happened here. Yes, there was an extraordinary catch in the end zone, but I didn't really see amazing routes or YAC.
Berkelium97: I don't remember too many drops, for the first time in a few weeks. Also, everyone from WRs to FBs to TEs to RBs were catching passes today. Jones emerged after disappearing since the Maryland game. He complements Riley very well because he will catch any ball that is thrown near him. He has a great ability to catch and hold on to passes that are slightly off the mark. I was very happy to see Boateng back and making a couple plays. Best and Vereen were also solid as receivers.
katster: Much, much, much better. I think we've found our WR for the future, and it was nice seeing Boetang in there again. (Hmm, how much of 72-6 was not having Boetang?)
GBB4188: There were a few problems, but I think those were mostly Brian Price being Brian Price.
Jr. Bear: Price who? Nice blocking overall, but offense still stalled in the 3rd quarter like usual. We need to get more sustained drives instead of just big plays, which will be essential later on against ASU and Washington. One of the reasons in my opinion why there were only 3 offensive points in the second half.
Swamphunter: Reason it's a B+ and not an A: Jahvid got stopped on several first down rushes. The line needs to be tighter on the obvious rushing downs. Reason it's a B+ and not a B-: 288 total yards rushing.
CALumbus Bear: Shame on the O-line for getting handily handled. "Dear fucla defensive line, I apologize if I am disturbing your pass rush, please let me get out of the way so you can get to the important business of tackling Best 7 yards behind the line of scrimmage."
Haas8388: The aggregate yardage was quite impressive, but there are far too many negative yardage plays in the running game. I rewatched much of the Bears' offensive possessions and, to my eye, UCLA did not stack the box all that often. There were occasions where they put 8 in the box and/ or run blitzed right into the play, as if they knew what was coming, but there other plays where they lined up only 6 or 7 in the box and still stuffed the play behind the LOS. That has to be on the run blocking or scheme or both.
CALumbus Bear: The way Riley was dancing around you'd think he was trying out to be Natalie Coughlin's partner. Luckily he's a damn fine dancer.
BTown85: Got it done, but there was WAY too much pressure on KR. UCLA's line consistently kept our d-line at bay, but it seemed like our O-line got pushed back every play.
stochastic: From what I could gather (the view from end zone seats at the Rose Bowl is awful), UCLA was able to get some decent pressure on Riley. However, since Riley isn't getting sacked five times a game like Aaron Rodgers, I'll take it.
katster: Better. Riley had time to make some long throws, whcih means he wasn't SCRAMBLING FOR HIS LIFE.
Yleexotee: Seemed like Riley had to run a lot in Pass plays. However, its possible this is actually A+ blocking since they didn't actually get to him.
GBB4188: Run D- Gave up 2 TDs and a 5.3 ypc. That's not good at all against a UCLA OL that has been having trouble setting the tone.
Haas8388: Considering how inexperienced and supposedly weak their running game was coming into the game, I can not feel too good about the Bears' run-D giving up 100 yards to their tailback in the first half. The linebackers get blocked far too often. The sad fact is, the Bears really don't have any inside linebackers and it shows.
Berkelium97: The 74 yard run was due to some great blocking which created congestion among the D-line and LBs, but I was surprised to see the defense give up a play like that. Besides that one run, they mostly held the UCLA run game in check (about 3 ypc) and made stops in the end zone.
Kodiak: The big run by Franklin is the obvious downgrade here. Our linebackers' inexperience still shows from time to time. But, at least they have potential. Considering our starting safeties are seniors, it's really disappointing how often they're out of position or take bad angles.
Ohio Bear: To use one of my most dreaded lines, "if you take away Franklin's 74 yard TD run, Ucla didn't do much at all on the ground." Well, ok, but it happened. And it sucked. But other than that and a big gain on a QB draw by Prince, we were okay. We weren't facing a marquee back, but still nice to TCB against the run like we (mostly) did.
dingosean: Hurried Prince time and time and time again. He kept having to get out of the pocket and make throws on his own. He did, but they at least didnt make it easy for him. They got some good sacks, and stifled drives. They DID allow for some big plays and some Uckluh offense, but they didnt make it easy. They did allow some runs up the middle, and Prince was able to scramble out for yards from time to time though, so I'm only able to give them a solid game...
ososdeoro: Meh. A couple nice sacks. I give a plus for lifting up Prince and then throwing him onto the ground.
CALumbus Bear: Need moar sax lol
But we did get a couple big ones so here's a plus on that C, and we'll go ahead and draw a smiley face because they need encouragement
sec119: It's hard to sustain a pass rush with three linemen, which Cal seemed to do a lot. And then if the blanket coverage left no one open, Kevin Prince ran downfield a fair number of times too. Props for the forced fumble.
BTown85: Needed MUCH more pressure on the QB. We had a few hurries, but the rush did NOT figure into the game enough. Should have really made the QB sweat, which we'll need to do to beat better teams in conference.
TKE Prytanis 79: Seriously, we cannot give a weak/ bottom third in the pac 10 QB that much time...watching Luck light it up right now, and if that is the shape of things to come, we gotta make some serious changes...come on
Jr. Bear: Good all game. However, much of it has to do with some of Prince's poor throws. In the drive leading to Kendricks' INT, he had three legitimate chances to make it a one score game.
California Pete: Best game played by the corners perhaps all year. Very sure tackling in the open field. Hagan should start the rest of his career. Nice pick-six, even if it came on a badly thrown ball.
Swamphunter: Okay, giving up 446 yards of passing is abysmal. We only had 47 more yards than that. However, Kendricks was the ultimate hero of the game as he was able to get a pick six and seal the deal, so I'll give this a +.
Haas8388: Except for Hagan who I thought played very well, the pass D was horrid. Everyone was open and only the QB's limitations and several drops kept the Bruins from putting up real serious numbers. What exactly is the strategy here? Hmmmm, let's play way off the receivers, give the QB all day to throw, and hope for the best. Oh, and, can someone explain how we can run two straight plays with only 10 defenders on the field. Did our defensive coaches not notice how wide open the TE was on the first play? If not for Kendrick's leaping interception the outcome of the game could have been very different. Seriously, TWO STRAIGHT plays with 10 on the field. I don't think I've ever seen that before, not even in highschool.
dingosean: We had a solid game in the kicking department at least. Anger was kicking well. We made our field goal, and all of our XP attempts, and yeah... we still werent kicking the ball into high heaven on kickoffs, but at least they got the ball within the 10 and mostly inside the 5 all game on kickoffs. They didnt have the best coverage on punts and kickoffs, and allowed some big plays and never really stopped them all game on anything. This is annoying and I hope they pick it up. But the lack of good play by the coverage teams, does at least get helped by the solid kicking day.
Solid game. Nothing amazing, but solid.
Jr. Bear: Is this madness? No this is AAALLLAAAAMMMAAAARRRRRRRR, which is heartbreaking.
rurata: What is wrong with special teams? They were playing okay for a couple weeks, but went right back to sucking this week. Although I guess if I had to choose between sucky ST and winning, or decent ST and absolutely no offense, I'd choose the former. At least Anger had a few great punts.
ososdeoro: C is a huge improvement over what I've been giving. Have to give kudos to Starkey for wondering whether Tavecchio's line drive kickoff that skidded through the right side of the end zone was by accident or by design, though. Nice to see Anger back instead of that imposter. Vereen knows the rule where if the momentum of the ball carries it into the end zone after hitting your hands, you can go back and kneel in the end zone. Yay!
mig: They get the higher grade since we won. Anger, after his first shanked punt, was really on top of his game, forcing the receiver back on every kick. The return coverage, however, was dismal. Every time they returned one of our kicks I was in fear of a repeat of what happened two weeks ago. Without fail at least two men would behave like Fenimore Cooper Indians and dive 5 feet behind the guy with the ball, completely missing him.
(via Monica's Dad)
VandyImport: Looks like they made the adjustments to contain the Bruins in the second half - but given that the offense scored NOTHING in the second half, you have to wonder whether they failed to adjust to the defense or just took their foot off the throttle. Either way, they coached them up to a win they should have gotten, so well done.
California Pete: Very impressed how genuinely confident and poised the Bears played today. And when these Bears are executing, I really like how Ludwig is mixing things up. The problem remains that this offense continues to rely too heavily on the big play. As we saw in the two losses, those big plays don't always come, and this team needs to figure out how to grind out yards--and points--in smaller chunks.
Swamphunter: Ludwig seemed to have fixed some of the more key things that were broken on Offense. Gregory... I don't know. I think he has some stuff to work on, specifically linebackers that can pass rush.
ALAMAAAAAAR was better, but still really needs to work on kickoff coverage.
Tedford was able to keep it all glued together and have the Bears bounce back, on the road in the Rose Bowl none-the-less.
Haas8388: I think Tedford deserves praise for having the team ready to go after the last two disasterous games. I also think Ludwig called a very nice first half. The defensive coaches, however, really drag down the overall grade. The two straight plays with 10 on the field at a crucial point in the game is as inept a demonstration of coaching as I have ever seen. The soft pass defense and lack of pressure on the QB drives me nuts. I may well be overly generous with the B-, but Tedford does deserve some credit for getting his first win in LA and putting up 45 on a good UCLA defense.
ososdeoro: Tedford gets an A for getting the teams' heads together, and for appearing to really be in the game. No real clock mismanagement, no game delay penalties out of time outs, good offensive game plan, including the advent of the pitchout --- while most of them went for losses (I think those ones could have been snappier), Best's 93 yarder was one. Gregory's mushy defense still perturbs. UCLA got 26 points? Ick.
(via Monica's Dad)
Jr. Bear: YEAH BABY. Love that Kendricks INT to end the game. So symbolic with his prediction of victory, so sweet to taste Bruin tears to repay that Alterraun Verner pick in 2007.
We have the "BEST" running back, Thor for a tight end, and GOD for a cornerback. If you do not love this team, there's no hope for you.
Yleexotee: Very mixed feelings. The defense let us down after a good week at USC, but the offense is back in business after falling off a cliff. WTF 45 pts a game, except for the biggest games Ore and USC.Argggh
CALumbus Bear: We FINALLY break the curse of Dorrell's mustache in El Lay, and for that the team gets a B+ and JT gets a gatorade bath.
Kodiak: It was a win on the road where our questionable offense carried the day against a defense known for its ball-hawking, lock-down secondary and legitimate NFL player in Brian Price. Nice to see Tedford finally break-through down in the Rose Bowl. We can complain about our defense and special teams...but we have to remember that Neuweasel and Chow are pretty good offensive coaches and have recruited some decent talent. Our defense was unquestionably overrated at the beginning of the year, so we need to accept that we have limitations at some positions (safety) and growing pains at others (linebacker). In the overall scheme of things, absolutely a huge must-win game that saved our season...until next week.
Ohio Bear: A 19 point win on the road in a place where we hadn't won since 1999. Oh happy glorious day. We shouldn't have given up 26 points, but I'm pleasantly stunned that we scored 45.
Berkelium97: Even if we had won 2-0 on a safety because UCLA ran the ball 95 yards into the wrong endzone, I would give this win an A+. Finally breaking the LA curse was a tremendous weight lifted off this team's shoulders. Also, scoring five offensive touchdowns against a highly praised UCLA defense was a great way to get our offense back in gear after the last two disasters.